November 2005

We are very fortunate in Emerald Isle to have an excellent Emergency Services Squad. Not only do they provide excellent emergency services, but they are initiating a "reflective sign" project to make it easier for Fire, Police, and EMS to locate your house in case of an emergency. For this month's column, I asked Emerald Isle EMS to provide information on the new program, and to provide additional information about the squad. Diane and I have ordered our "reflective sign", and I encourage everyone to take advantage of the EMS "reflective sign" project and to order yours today. It could be a lifesaving decision.


It’s 2:00 A.M. and you wake up out of a sound sleep with chest pains.  Your spouse calls 911 and the emergency operator dispatches Emerald Isle Emergency Medical Services.  Within minutes the EMS ambulance arrives on your street but is unable to locate your house because your address is not visible.  Precious minutes are wasted before life saving treatment can be provided!

There is a big difference between knowing an address and finding the right address in an emergency situation. Emerald Isle EMS hopes to eliminate this problem by offering to install reflective address signs which clearly mark your house number.

The 6” x 18” sign is green with 3” white numbers on each side.  It will be mounted on the mailbox or placed in the yard, allowing emergency personnel to easily identify the address day or night.  The price of the sign and installation is $15.00. To order a sign please email, call 252-354-2249, or visit our office at 218 Cedar Street, and provide name, address, and phone number.

Emerald Isle EMS was established as a volunteer Squad in March, 1975 and is now celebrating the 30th year of providing emergency medical services to visitors and residents of Emerald Isle.  The Squad has 24 members with certifications ranging from medical responder, emergency medical technician basic, intermediate and paramedic.  This permits the highest level of pre-hospital emergency care, including intravenous access for medications, intubation to protect the airway, and heart monitoring for pacing, cardioversion or defibrillation.  The Squad maintains two ambulances and one quick response vehicle for multiple emergencies.

The Squad responded to over 600 emergency calls during 2004 and to 477 calls through September of 2005.  The type of calls range from simple cuts due to falls to more serious emergencies such as cardiac arrest.  Most of the calls are of a medical nature rather than trauma related.  The average response time from the 911 tone to the arrival of the first responder is less than 4 minutes.

Donations from residents provided the majority of funds for most of the past 30 years.  Since 2002 the Squad has contracted with the town as the primary source of funding. Costs are reduced through the volunteer efforts of members, who are paid a small stipend for responding to calls.  Most of the volunteers reside on the island and respond directly to the scene of a call.  The Squad currently has sufficient numbers of active members to make up five teams.  Therefore a team member is responsible for responding to emergencies every fifth day.  Members are also encouraged to listen on their monitors to respond to second calls or calls while “off duty.” 

Emerald Isle EMS members strive to provide professional services in a timely manner.  A reflective sign which clearly marks your address in an easily identifiable location will help to reach our goal.  To order a sign or become a volunteer, email, call 252-354-2249, or visit our office at 218 Cedar Street, Emerald Isle, NC 28594. 

Posted by Admin Tuesday, November 1, 2005 4:12:00 PM